Skip to main content

Ever wonder why the Tea Party and their corporate masters hate the poor?  Why they delight in kicking those who are already down, stealing the bread from a starving widow’s mouth, kicking the walker out from under a disabled veteran?  Why they praise each other for taking from those who have so little and giving that little to someone who already has too much?

In 1904,  Max Weber attempted to answer these questions in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. For those who have not read it, here is the McCamy Cliff Notes Version, with one big footnote.

“So, wherever the doctrine of predestination was held, the question could not be suppressed whether there were any infallible criteria by which membership in the electi could be known.”  

“Labour in a calling was also the ascetic activity par excellence…God Himself blessed His chosen ones through the success of their labors.”

“This consciousness of divine grace of the elect and holy was accompanied by an attitude towards the sins of one’s neighbors, not of sympathetic understanding based on the consciousness of one’s own weakness, but of hatred and contempt for him as an enemy of God bearing the sins of eternal damnation.”

“We know only that a part of humanity is saved, the rest is damned.”

“For the damned to complain of their lot would be much the same as for animals to bemoan the fact that they were not born as men.”

“In the field of its highest development, in the United States, the pursuit of wealth, stripped of its religious and ethical meaning, tends to become associated with purely mundane passions, which often actually give it the character of a sport.”

What does it all mean?

In the days before the mega Churches, we would visit a tiny, unadorned white chapel each Sunday. As we sat on the butt numbing wooden benches, the preacher would go on and on about the fires of Hell, and about how sinners would burn in agony for all eternity. There was no air conditioning back then. As the sun rose in the sky, the church would become hotter and hotter---and so did the minister. Until it came time to baptize a new member. Then, the glass pool full of water came out. Dressed in white robes, the woman was immersed in the coolness of divine grace. As children, we could not help but think that the water looked so inviting. Better to be saved and swim in that cool pool forever than to be damned and burn in the fires of Hell, that were probably a lot like Texas on a hot, August Sunday.

On another north Texas August day, in 1976, a wealthy oil man named Cullen Davis broke into his estranged wife’s home. He shot his wife and killed her daughter and her boyfriend. There were eye witnesses, and yet, the jury acquitted him, because he was rich and because he could hire Racehorse Haynes, the best of the best, to be his lawyer. We were surprised, but not too surprised. Growing up in America, we had learned that some folks---rich folks--- were better than others. Their clothes were more sumptuous. They could run for president on a whim and the press would treat them like serious candidates. Reporters followed them everywhere they went, recording everything they bought, ate or said.  We all learned early in life that the best things in life could be bought with money, and our greatest ambition was to win the lottery.

In that same year, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan told us about the Welfare Queen. Like all Big Lies, we did not believe it at first. We had lived through the 1960s, when white policemen turned fire hoses and dogs on Black children whose only crime was wanting to go to school and grow up to vote. We were skeptical of the divide and conquer rhetoric of the corporate bosses---

Gradually,  the Welfare Queen Big Lie began to sink into the national psyche. Four years later, people would start to claim “I’m a social liberal, but an economic conservative.” As if you could hand out freedom and dignity but confiscate the money. In 1980,  interest rates were too high and gasoline was in short supply, because a Black woman somewhere was stealing our money to feed her sins----gluttony and lust.

We got so used to looking for the Black Woman who was the cause of our misfortunes that we stopped seeing the poor children and the poor disabled and the poor elderly. We forgot that when we were little, the sight of another person hungry or sick or in tears would move us almost to tears. Here’s a true story. When my five year old son and I went to Mexico City, he insisted that we give to every beggar we passed. At five, it would not occur to him not to take pity on someone so thin, so desperate, so poor, when he knew that we had pockets full of money.

Now, it is August in Texas again. Every day, I open my local newspaper, expecting to see that the press has finally noticed the high unemployment and low insured rate in my part of Texas. And every day, I read, instead, about how this business needs a tax abatement and that agency says that we need more urban gas drilling. I guess I can understand it. Rick Perry is running for president, and it would not be patriotic for a Texas paper to draw attention to our own poor. No, poverty is something they have in blue states. Poverty is a scam designed to help promiscuous women eat steak and drive Cadillacs. Real poverty has no face and no voice---

Unless you happen to wonder through the pharmacy at the local charity hospital and overhear the mother begging for a voucher, because she can not afford the copayment on her son’s medication.

Unless you happen to drive down the street where the homeless, many of them veterans, congregate on corners, waiting for the missions to open.

Unless you happen to ask the woman waiting for the bus why her face is tear stained. If you asked, you might be surprised at her answer. She might tell you a tale of so much bad luck and such misery that you would walk away a changed person---

Originally posted to McCamy Taylor on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 07:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Spiritual Organization of Unapologetic Liberals at Daily Kos, TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, Community Spotlight, and Street Prophets .

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, sdf, Mary, jm1963, Pat K California, VA6thDem, maxomai, Roadie, Alumbrados, paradox, Superskepticalman, Hunter, Sylv, aisling, zane, PrahaPartizan, Sean Robertson, hannah, filkertom, True North, texaslucy, melo, grollen, ogre, copymark, mwm341, teacherken, glitterscale, Geenius at Wrok, Dump Terry McAuliffe, Joan McCarter, Nina Katarina, RunawayRose, TechBob, Emerson, tommurphy, krwada, Shockwave, jazzizbest, m maddog, Stein, rhubarb, eeff, polecat, x, frisco, jnfr, Matilda, musicsleuth, bumblebums, Just Saying, niemann, Soy Lechithin, Morgana, mrsdbrown1, concernedamerican, missLotus, 88kathy, afox, cskendrick, annrose, susakinovember, ginmar, cmairead, CoolOnion, bluesteel, Crimson Buddha, Geonomist, tmmike, LickBush, chimpy, roses, sngmama, poe, jalbert, ClickerMel, Bill Roberts, librarianman, splashy, jted, CoConut, wader, Janeo, revsue, Quege, Lilyvt, behan, athenap, psnyder, MrSandman, sockpuppet, TexDem, Miss Jones, pat bunny, roseeriter, johanus, ccr4nine, cosette, JimWilson, Bulldawg, texasmom, HeyMikey, BMarshall, flatford39, dwahzon, penguins4peace, ohiolibrarian, QuoVadis, papercut, i m bushwacked, razajac, kalmoth, RebeccaG, lcrp, clarknyc, Dave925, walkshills, frostieb, Diana in NoVa, KateCrashes, zerelda, ybruti, randallt, WisVoter, tomjones, zadarum, Deward Hastings, Mosquito Pilot, TheOrchid, xxdr zombiexx, Armand451, Frank Vyan Walton, TexMex, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, sb, Julie Gulden, Crazycab214, davidincleveland, la motocycliste, G2geek, kbman, maybeeso in michigan, historys mysteries, Bluesee, RaveON, Jeffersonian Democrat, greycat, wmc418, BluejayRN, el dorado gal, m16eib, yuriwho, JanetT in MD, SherwoodB, 1seeker, OpherGopher, wizardkitten, Alice Venturi, kamarvt, JohnB47, grimjc, kitchen sink think tank, Blue Jean, ccasas, basquebob, TN yellow dog, KatGirl, ChemBob, juliesie, Hugo Estrada, drewfromct, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, michaelmas, reflectionsv37, ratzo, fixxit, boofdah, Spoc42, farmerchuck, dansk47, LNK, GreenPA, grog, SaraBeth, jimreyn, GreyHawk, ladybug53, cspivey, rosabw, Ice Blue, blue jersey mom, babatunde, jane123, Cecile, kaliope, LucyandByron, Tool, minidriver, Savvy813, Ginny in CO, sodalis, coolbreeze, Lisa Lockwood, dsteffen, Rogneid, Brian B, Snud, zozie, kathny, Oye Sancho, SoulCatcher, Mother Mags, MadGeorgiaDem, K S LaVida, poco, esquimaux, golfervet, MissInformation, BalanceSeeker, Captain Sham, irishwitch, vigilant meerkat, Clytemnestra, edwardssl, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, Themistoclea, Ky DEM, Russgirl, tonyahky, Yellow Canary, seefleur, mooshter, kestrel9000, KenBee, dougymi, VictorLaszlo, arlene, pengiep, Son of a Cat, luckydog, blueoasis, NBBooks, praenomen, MJ via Chicago, StrayCat, erratic, 4Freedom, jerseyjo, Libby Shaw, LibChicAZ, tapestry, PapaChach, JVolvo, happy camper, unclebucky, Preston S, myrealname, ER Doc, Unitary Moonbat, dirtfarmer, middleagedhousewife, MBNYC, Pilgrim X, anninla, ShowMe Indie, Turbonerd, Cenobyte, a small quiet voice, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, JDsg, means are the ends, k00kla, Dreaming of Better Days, zedaker, Statusquomustgo, Brunette, FrankieB, Mr Horrible, Bernie68, Johnathan Ivan, Delta Overdue, 20shadesofviolet, Friend of the court, kml, markthshark, Little, Nulwee, Pandoras Box, Grannus, Thinking Fella, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, Sapere aude, Boreal Ecologist, catadromous, Philip Woods, Ken in MN, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Loudoun County Dem, randorider, SpecialKinFlag, Mr K, tgypsy, ksp, milkbone, ninkasi23, offgrid, paz3, gailwax, gloriana, Positronicus, vets74, linkage, karmsy, Brix, blue71340, LillithMc, sdelear, yowsta, some other george, tbirchard, jeanette0605, Matt Z, ezdidit, LamontCranston, ilex, suejazz, sfbob, dissonantdissident, Shadowmage36, Unbozo, bnasley, puzzled, Seneca Doane, artisan, HCKAD, crose, bobswern, stcroix cheesehead, millwood, jfranks, jhop7, gchaucer2, carpunder, Rumarhazzit, technolinguist, GeorgeXVIII, crystalboy, fallina7, i like bbq, cloudbustingkid, Prof Haley, Neon Mama, gizmo59, rmonroe, sand805, GANJA, alkalinesky, rogerdaddy, gundyj, Amor Y Risa, revm3up, TX Freethinker, flowerfarmer, Port City Moon, Shahryar, kimoconnor, Chacounne, wayoutinthestix, modulegirl, zerone, OleHippieChick, Youffraita, Tchrldy, crescentdave, smrichmond, beanbagfrog, KJG52, jakebob, mikeconwell, here4tehbeer, tofumagoo, kN3eLb4Z0d, pamelabrown, Cassandra Waites, dewley notid, demoKatz, happymisanthropy, Wek, triplepoint, TokenLiberal, catly, Tam in CA, jorogo, Seamus D, temptxan, banger, glendaw271, petulans, chalatenango, DixieDishrag, BYw, punkdavid, Executive Odor, Dude1701, Mad Season, HoosierDeb, dmhlt 66, DavidW, shortgirl, lissablack, CA coastsider, statsone, ibinreno, Tennessee Dave, fayea, Mnamna, lostboyjim, legendmn, greywolfe359, Bule Betawi, multilee, Mrs M, Florene, McGahee220, J M F, Throw The Bums Out, Kansas Born, Dirtandiron, aufklaerer, litoralis, greengemini, The Dead Man, Magick Maven, lapidarygal, cantelow, bsmechanic, banjolele, gharlane, ryan81, Methinks They Lie, Gorilla in the room, Partisan Progressive, PackLeader89, shopkeeper, CamillesDad1, virginwoolf, moonbatlulu, elziax, lbines, bfitzinAR, lastman, kevinpdx, Dark UltraValia, IreGyre, PoliticalJunkessa, A Voice, strangedemocracy, jfromga, Essephreak, Skex, Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno, collardgreens, catilinus, Nalepoc, Just Bob, coppercelt, confitesprit, CajunBoyLgb, David PA, flitedocnm, roadbear, LaughingPlanet, Observerinvancouver, kjoftherock, secret38b, stunzeed, teachme2night, Ronald Singleterry, Polly Syllabic, Melissa J, freeport beach PA, ATFILLINOIS, Arenosa, ctlrick, gulfgal98, ItsSimpleSimon, anonevent, Egalitare, DiegoUK, sharonsz, standupguy, ban48, angryreader18, DrTerwilliker, elengul, MsGrin, Dahankster, Floande, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, nosleep4u, ZedMont, not4morewars, Actbriniel, rmabelis, JClarkPDX, Wisdumb, no way lack of brain, Onomastic, Mike08, renbear, Barbara Marquardt, Colorado is the Shiznit, angstall, Front Toward Enemy, mama jo, Dretutz, vintage dem, StateofEuphoria, spooks51, msazdem, sostos, implicate order, jardin32, MaryinHammondsport, vahana, Mr MadAsHell, freesia, myadestes, gbinwc, La Gitane, luvmykona, poorbuster, squidflakes, Teknocore, The Clevelander, FarWestGirl, mikejay611, Araguato, marilync, pbgv23, BirdMom, kevin k, kpal711, deeproots, NormAl1792, CoExistNow, mawazo, brendams, AgavePup, cyberpuggy, thomask, Muskegon Critic, Angela Quattrano, dle2GA, muddy boots, Inspector Javert, debaseTheBase, KVoimakas, durrati, jgnyc, enhydra lutris, Bill in MD, Keori, chira2, Tyto Alba, MinistryOfTruth, Imhotepsings, poliwrangler, Caddis Fly, diffrntdrummr, blue aardvark, MattYellingAtTheMoon, SteelerGrrl, carolr51, Sunspots, zenox, DRo, googie, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Kurt from CMH, Apost8, caryltoo, grannycarol, zenbassoon, PrometheusUnbound, good intentions, Mortifyd, threadbaren, grandma blue, davryanna, IowaBiologist, SuWho, 50sbaby, brown and blue all over, absdoggy, Orman West, stormicats, justme2122, Whimsical Rapscallion, NoFortunateSon, anodnhajo, sow hat, MightyMoe, damfino, oblios arrow, IndieGuy, Eric Nelson, oldcrow, S F Hippie, orpurple, AnnieR, swampyankee, FloridaSNMOM, Trotskyrepublican, FreeSpeaker, congenitalefty, IProfess, Lorinda Pike, Mark Tietig, Mike RinRI, TexDemAtty, mapamp, HypocrisyWatch, Joel Spinhirne, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, Syoho, Fish in Illinois, Sonoran Left, geojumper, Arahahex, MartyM, ClutchCargo, LiberalVol, notdarkyet, Fed up Fed, Margd, wxorknot, cassandracarolina, S M Tenneshaw, oldpotsmuggler, Kinak, FrY10cK, GAladybug, orymartin, wasatch, DarkLadyNyara, Jonny Cache, peptabysmal, maf1029, deconite, left rev, efrenzy, Hammerhand, One Little Victory, Abelia, Sue B, Canis Aureus, BabeInTotalControlofHerself, allensl, Lightbulb, nuclear winter solstice, mygreekamphora, LibbyLuLu, sebsgf, SwedishJewfish, Lily O Lady, NyteByrd1954, ebailey, LaraJones

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site